ok so lets begin...i got an internship at the Miami Herald recently as a photographer, (im from CA) and took the baby down for a cross country road trip. half way through my internship, my timing belt snaps and bam, there goes $$$. I take it to the shop and they send it out to get my head machined, replace 14 or so valves, waterpump, TB tensioner, all that jazz. 2 weeks down the road, CEL lights come up and i notice my coolant is leaking at the "y hose." i replace that myself, then i get another crack on the hose piece where the coolant temp sensor fits in to. i replace that and here we are. basically, im almost sure that my engine is creating too much pressure and is cracking my coolant lines every so often. also, when i idle with my reservoir tank cap off, the coolant boils over. im almost sure its either a blown head gasket, or a cracked/warped head. my suspicions are a warped head, as my fool of a mechanic probably didnt tighten the head bolts in proper order. car does NOT overheat though, never has either.
so here is my predicament...i need to leave in two weeks, back to CA...with my car. anyone know of any good mechanics in the broward/miami-dade counties to see if i can get my car checked. i want to know if its a blown head gasket ONLY, or its a warped head...cause if its just a blown gasket then i can replace it and go back to cali, if its a warped head, then im a bit screwed as i already dropped $1600 on the car, and may just sell it for parts.
any ideas on what ya'll would do, or where to go?
and before you guys ask "well, why dont you go back to your mechanic and tell him to fix your sh!t...well i did, and here's the kicker...they went out of business
Well the stealerships are Gunther. Im not a fan of them. It does not make sense that the engine would produce too much pressure to crack stuff. Believe it or not, if the cap is off, the coolant will not circulate therefore it will boil in the expansion tank. Ask me how I know. You would know of a blown gasket or warped head because you would lose a lot of coolant and may produce steam in the exhaust. Did you go to an autoparts store to pull the codes? Do that ASAP. If it is unrelated, that may help us figure it out.
You never stated which engine you have, but the 2.0 have a serious issue with air bubbles in the system causing probs. If you run the engine, and the lower rad hose is warm to hot, then the water is circulating, if it's not overheating, then what is the gripe?
how do you know? i mean in theory it makes sense, because the cap is off, there is less pressure in the cooling system, less pressure means a lower boiling point which means boiling over....i was told newer cars shouldn't face this problem though.
engine is a 1.8T coming off of a 20th GTI.
as for the codes, here we go:
p0171- system too lean- bank 1. Explanation- low fuel pressure or volume. Probable cause- Faulty heated O2 sensor, Large vacuum leak, faulty MAF sensor.
p0507- idle air control system higher than expected. Explanation- large vacuum leak on engine. Probably cause- Throttle plate misadjusted or damaged, faulty IRC valve. (this makes sense, cause as soon as i got the car back from the mech, my turbo gauge stopped working, but i havent been able to find the leak using the carb cleaner method.
p0411- Secondary Air Injection system incorrect flow. Explanation- Air combination valve. Probable cause- Faulty air solenoid valve, faulty air pump motor. (the SAI hose thats connected to my air filter is cracked and taped together...could be an easy explanation)
p2181- Cooling system malfunctioned. Probable cause- Failed radiator or water pump, Check coolant temp sensor. (i just had the waterpump replaced, although it could be the coolant temp sensor since i fiddled with it changing the second coolant flange.)
as far as head damage, no smoke coming out of the exhaust either.
hmm, but thats the thing...if im getting the -2181 code, which is very recent...its likely my thermostat. Then the issue stays the same, cause every time i fix one coolant line, it runs all funky (rougher idle) then another line breaks...this time the thermostat. under inspection, there is no loss in coolant and the tstat looks fine, but how much can you tell from a purely visual inspection.
ok long overdue update, but if anyone runs into the same problem here you go:
first my mech did a crap job and left a bunch of hoses loose, so tons of vacuum leaks.
the issue with the coolant boiling was simple...there was a leak somewhere in the plumbing, so low pressure means lower boiling point which means overflow. now why was there a leak? well my old VW plumbing couldnt handle the new water pump, so one by one, all the weakest links would crack under the new pressure i guess. anyway, i fixed the leaks and took the car to a shop to fix the vacuum hoses, when all was said and done, wasnt too huge of a problem.